HISTORY OF THE MANSFIELD BARN
Written by Gary Irish
Disaster struck early in the morning of October 29, 1897, when according to a news article in the Green Mountain Press of November 2 “The barns on the farm occupied by Elmer Irish were burned to the ground Friday morning at 3 o’clock. Mr. Irish was going to Burlington with a load of pork, and had risen early and had lighted a lantern and was doing the morning work when he overturned his lantern on the hay, and in a moment all was afire. The livestock, with the exception of hens, were saved, and some farming tools. The things were insured.”
The current barn, which replaced the one destroyed by the fire, was built in two halves. The eastern part was built in 1900, and the western half was built by the Breen Brothers of Underhill in the summer of 1905. This barn is what is known as a bank barn, and was the latest technology at the time.
The old house eventually deteriorated and was torn down around the 1930’s, and the old barn was taken down in the 1970’s by volunteers from the Jericho Historical Society, who used the material for restoration work in the wheelhouse of Chittenden Mills. Mrs. Irish died in 1905, and Elmer married Mable Perrigo in 1907.
In 1916, they purchased the Appolus Bishop farm across the road and moved there the next year. Thereafter the house on the home farm was rented out, although Mr. Irish continued to operate the farm. After his death in 1937, his son Hugh Irish continued to farm there until the place was sold to Frank and Mable Irish from North Underhill in 1944. They operated the farm along with their son Harley, who continued it until his retirement, when he rented the farm to Arthur “Cub” Blades while continuing to live in the house. After Harley’s death the farm was sold to Ben and Joanne, and Cub continued to rent the barn from them until the farm was sold to John and Denise Angelino.
A BARN REBORN
The former “Irish Farm” was purchased by Grant and Susan Allendorf in November, 2014 from John and Denise Angelino. Major renovation of the barn started the summer of 2015, with completion estimated for May, 2016. Everything from the roof, sills, floor and walls is slated to be either repaired or completely reconstructed. In addition to the restoration of the original building details, three bathrooms, a bar area, and a large dance floor will also be put in, making it a remarkable space for special events.
Grant has been in the wedding business since 1978 with Supersounds Entertainment and he has seen the impact of the wedding barn movement that has swept the nation. His vision is to make The Mansfield Barn a special setting for couples from near and far to have the Vermont barn wedding of their dreams. With the beautiful backdrop of Mount Mansfield in the distance, and the small town charm of Jericho, The Mansfield Barn is bound to be a place where memories are made.
The Mansfield Barn is now booking dates starting in August, 2016! Please visit our Rates section for more information.
Here are some images from the renovation.